Dozens of Queensland emergency service personnel who live south of the border have been told to stay in New South Wales, despite being essential workers and vaccinated.
Tough new border rules came into effect on Saturday which requires at least one dose of a vaccine for the few essential workers that are allowed to cross the border.
It’s been revealed more than 40 Queensland firefighters have been ordered not to come to work with those workers told to take pandemic leave.
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Queensland Ambulance has also reportedly been forced to cancel around 30 shifts with some paramedics redeployed to New South Wales.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles has defended the move, arguing their jobs can be covered by other emergency service workers based in Queensland.
“The test here is whether there is anyone else in Queensland that can do that job, whether we need you here,” Dr Miles said.
“Where that’s been assessed by the directors-general of the relevant department, so where it’s been assessed that the workforce currently in Queensland can deliver those services, then those workers have been deemed non-essential.”
More than 2700 vehicles were intercepted at the borders on the first day of the new rules with 142 of those turned around.
At least 12 workers who are deemed essential were denied entry into Queensland because they were yet to receive at least one dose of a vaccine.